If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to mutually acceptable child custody arrangements in the course of your divorce, the court will likely implement a Standard Possession Order. Familiarizing yourself with the basics regarding these orders can help you know what to expect and how best to proceed with your custody arrangements. The State of Texas addresses nearly every scheduling eventuality, so you are unlikely to face any custody-related ambiguities.
The State of Texas breaks down custody arrangements into two broad categories – those parents who live within 100 miles of each other and those who do not. Further, one parent is generally the primary custodial parent with whom the children live primarily, and the other parent has a visitation schedule. Standard Possession Orders (SPOs) are arranged in accordance with these basics. (What Not to Do if Your Goal Is Primary Custody)
If You and Your Ex Live within 100 Miles of Each Other
If you and your ex live within 100 miles of one another and you are the primary custodial parent, the following scheduling details will apply:
- Your children will spend the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month (from 6 PM on Friday to 6 PM on Sunday) with their other parent.
- Your children will spend every Thursday evening (from 6 PM to 8 PM) with their other parent.
- Your ex will have extended visitation during the months of summer visitation.
If You and Your Ex Live More than 100 Miles Apart
If there are more than 100 miles between you and your ex’s residences, the following scheduling details will apply:
- Your children will spend one weekend of each month (from Friday at 6 PM to Sunday at 6 PM) with their other parent.
- Your ex can choose the weekend of his or her choice, but he or she must provide you with written notification of this choice at least three months prior.
- To change the visitation weekend, your ex must give you at least two-weeks notice.
- Your children will have extended visitation time with your ex during spring breaks and summer vacations.
Holiday Visitation Schedules
Holiday visitations remain the same regardless of how far apart you and your ex live. In even-numbered years, your children will spend Thanksgiving and the first half of their Christmas vacation with you, and in odd-numbered years, they will spend these holidays with their other parents. These firm scheduling guidelines allow parents to plan ahead – confident in the knowledge that their custody arrangements remain firm. (Tips for Communicating with Your Ex this Holiday Season)
Discuss Your Custody Concerns with an Experienced Attorney
If you have questions or concerns related to your impending custody arrangements, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney who is committed to helping you obtain custody terms that work for you and your children. If you have encountered a hitch with your current custody schedule, we can also help with that. Your case is important to us, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.